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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Nissan 13, Komen 10, Willard 6, Us 6, Tennessee 6, Allstate 6, Dennis 4, Susan G. Komen 4, America 4, Florida 4, Msnbc 4, Michigan 4, Michael Steele 4, Mississippi 3, Rendell 3, Mitt Romney 3, Willard Mitt Romney 3, Steve Kornacki 3, Erin Mcpike 3, Washington 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    February 3, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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to speak forthrightly about this and make it clear. we don't want that war. it's in nobody's interest. >> thank you richard engel over in tel aviv. one of the great correspondents of our time. and dr. brzezinski. your book is called "strategic vision." that's "hardball" for now. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, a victory in stopping the gop's war against women. the susan g. komen foundation, the nation's leading breast cancer charity, bowed to huge pressure today and reversed its decision to cut funds to planned parenthood. komen's founder and ceo issued a stunning apology. "we want to apologize to the american public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives.
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we do not want our mission marred or affected by politics -- anyone's politics." planned parenthood responded, quote, the outpouring of support for women in need of life-saving breast cancer screening this week has been astonishing and is a testament to our nation's compassion and sincerity. minority leader nancy pelosi celebrated a victory for women. >> the decision by the susan g. komen foundation to reverse their decision about planned parenthood just goes to show you when women speak out, women win. and women's health has a big victory this morning. >> conservatives hammered the decision. one congresswoman says, quote, their sudden reversal today appears hollow and weak. and typically, rush limbaugh went over the line. >> the planned parenthood heard
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about it and they went ballistic and nuclear because nobody, particularly a female oriented charity like komen is going to stop or interrupt the money flow to the pro-abortion mill industry. >> joining me now, senator jeanne shaheen, democrat from new hampshire. he's one of the 26 senators who signed a letter urging komen to reverse their original decision. senator, thanks for joining me tonight. >> it's good news today for women across this country who need that preventive health care in order to be able to detect breast cancer. so i applaud the susan g. komen foundation for reversing their decision and for continuing to work with planned parenthood in the interest of women's health. >> let's be clear to the public that the funds that we're talking about were going to be used for breast cancer screening. had nothing to do with
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abortions, but they were trying to say because planned parenthood, i think 3% of it does that, and somebody wanted it investigated, that would justify stopping the funds. so this is not even directly related, which is why it was so egregious. >> that's absolutely right. you know, most of the work of planned parenthood deals with breast cancer screenings, with cervical cancer screenings, with preventive care for sexually transmitted diseases and it has nothing to do with abortion. and for thousands of women, literally thousands in new hampshire, that's where they get their health care. and if planned parenthood is not able to provide health care, then we're going to have many more women who are going to get breast cancer, who are going to get other diseases and so, again, this was a good decision for women's health.
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>> senator, aren't we seeing a climate by the right wing of really a war on women and women's right to choose? let me tell you what expressed it best. michael keegan, president of people for american way wrote today, angry at comb cnn you should be furious at mitt romney and the gop. and let me read part of what he wrote. republicans in congress and gop leaders consistently make the same choices involving many times more money and many times more women's lives. the shock of the revelation of komen's new policies only highlighted how numb many of us have become to the larger, unrelenting attacks on women's health by right wing elected officials. isn't there a larger picture here that this really is just an example of, that we've seen this general assault on women's rights? >> well, we have seen an assault
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on women and women's health care. and it's been going on really since we began working on the health care reform act. and, you know, one thing i would hope all of us could agree on, despite our ideological differences is that we should make decisions about health care for women and men based on what the best scientific evidence is. and we ought to all be able to agree that that's in the best interest, not only of the women of this country but of the future of this country. and families. so i'm -- i would hope that we could all put politics aside and make sure that we support decisions that promote the best health care we can provide for women? >> i agree with you. but the reality is that our desire to put politics aside, notwithstanding we have to identify those that are really going over the line. in 2011, senator, the house
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passed bills allowing hospitals to turn away women for seeking abortion, even in life-threatening situations. want to redefine rape to limit abortion funding. block federal funding to planned parenthood. i think that we need a bipartisan all-american commitment, but a commitment to fairness and those that are unfair, i think we have to call it like we see it. >> i totally agree. we need to make sure that women have the same access to care that everyone else has. >> senator, thank you very much for being with us. and thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks. the stunning reversal came after relentless pressure and activism from all over the country. hours after the initial decision, the komen website was hacked with this message. "help us run over poor women on our way to the bank."
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also, planned parenthood has taken in more than $3 million, six times more than komen gave to planned parenthood last year. this is activism at its best. joining me now is msnbc contributor melissa harris-perry, a professor of political science at tulane. a columnist for "the nation" and soon to be host of her own show here on msnbc. thanks for being here tonight. >> absolutely. >> this is activism, and it has also incited a real right wing kind of hostility. the last two nights i've been covering this on the show, i can tell from some of my favorite right wing twitter folks tweeting me all kind of outrageous stuff. this has hit a nerve. and i don't think people understand how vile towards women's right to choose, women's right to deal with their own options that the right wing has become in this day.
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>> this was a bit of a masterful strategy had it worked. because what it did was to separate out good girls from bad girls, which has always been an effective way to limit some women from having the same freedoms and opportunities. so if breast cancer is separated out completely from planned parenthood if planned parenthood can't provide breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings if all they are doing is providing reproductive choice opportunities like birth control and pregnancy terminations, then you can go after them because those are the bad girls. those are the people who have done bad things. but when it becomes clear that, no, what they sorry a primary health care provider for so many women who do not have doctors, then so many reasons they don't have doctors is because of this whole system stacked against poor and working class women from having those kinds of doctors. then the mastery of the strategy actually gets turned back the other way. >> and see, i think that's the point because some people have even said to me over the last
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couple of days that whether i'm pro choice, pro life, how do you use some bogus investigation to stop people from breast cancer screening and kont tra -- contraception. this is not only -- should be illegal. it's immoral. >> it is in part indicative of how successful komen has been. 30 years ago, and i know you and i know this, that women didn't say they had breast cancer. it was shameful to say breast, to talk about breast self-exams, to talk about mammograms, to cover those kinds of things. women were dying because there was so much shame surrounding it. so part of what komen and others did was to take that shame away. now people are saying, how could you not cover breast cancer screenings, right? of course you'd cover breast cancer screenings. if komen won't, we will.
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people from all sides of the spectrum sending their money, putting their money on the position of, listen. we're going to stand with women's right to access to health care. not abortion. health care. >> but the religious right is going crazy over the reversal. they've come out with, quote, they've chosen death over life. mafia shakedown tactics. susan g. komen for the cure should recognize that abortion is not a cure for anything. one, we're not talking about abortion. we're talking about cancer. none of this would go to abortion. second, why is it always a shakedown. we hear that civil rights all the time. as long as the rich are getting theirs, as long as those are getting theirs. if you merely ask for some kind of equity and parity, it's a shakedown. >> the response was, all right if you don't want to pay iwill. i mean, like maybe it's time to have a moment about how the mafia actually works but that is not how it works. it does not work that if you don't want to give, don't worry,
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i will because that's what happened in this case. >> that's a shake-up. you are shaking up the way they deal with things. >> will it stop the right wing? >> oh, no, no, not at all. and, in fact, particularly it will not stop their attack on women as though our problems with unemployment, as though our problems with a global economic crisis have anything to do with the choices that women make with their breasts, their uterus. it's not going to stop them. it's such an easy sort of lane for them to go in. >> i hope people stand up. whether i agree with a person's choice, they have a right to it. someone tweeted me, a professor, and said why are you in this? you're not a woman. i have two daughters and i might want to throw out there, my mother was a woman. melace harri melissa harris-perry. we called it melissa harris-perry. joining us tonight. we're looking forward to your show with a whole lot of
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excitement. >> coming up from planned parenthood to the walker recall, how progressives are rolling back the gop's radical agenda. plus, huge, huge job numbers out today. you won't believe what republicans are saying now. but president obama is on message. . >> don't muck it up. keep it moving in the right direction. >> and mitt romney says he misspoke on those poor comments. no, you didn't, willard. we'll show you. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. today my journey continues across the golden state, where everyone has been unbelievably nice.
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they're fighting back. the economy is getting better and mitt romney can't spin away those revealing comments about the poor. we'll be talking about all that ahead.
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i think it's awful that they canceled their funding for planned parenthood. it's dus gusting. it's really awful. they should be ashamed of themselves. >> i was appalled. my, you know, personal philosophy aside, i am pro life. i just feel that they should be free breast screening for all women. >> those are the voice of the people. people who spoke out and forced a change for the good.
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komen's stunning reversal on funding planned parenthood caps a year of progressive action that is rolling back the far right agenda. in wisconsin, tens of thousands protested the gop war on unions and forced a recall vote of the governor. in ohio, overwhelming majority mobilized to vote down that state's anti-union bill. occupy wall street brought new focus to fairness and economic equality. i've seen it firsthand at national action network's rallies where thousands have come to fight for jobs and justice. folks, we have been putting the brakes on a lot+ñú extremism. now we've got to hit7mú2fzñm g. joining me now is one of the nation's top pollsters. salinda lake. how are you this evening? thank you for joining me. >> thank you. i can't imagine a better show to be on to celebrate this tonight
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than with you. >> thank you for saying that. we saw a tea party surge in the 2010 election. but isn't it clear now that the momentum has swung the other way? >> it sure has. and, really, even the tea party surge originally was a voter frustration, a vote for change. but now voters are really galvanizing around taking back this agenda, speaking up for the people and it's occurring across the world really. and i think the other thing that's really happening is that people are standing up to big corporate organizations whether they are corporate charities or corporate wall street. now let me show you a couple of polls. this is your area. one poll has where the unfavorable view of the tea party has gone up 27% since january of 2010. another poll on the congress has it as the worst congress ever, plummeting to an historical low
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in a gallup poll. does this reflect your research as well? >> absolutely. americans are extremely frustrated with divisive politics and zero sum politics and the idea, as you said it earlier in your program, that a charity would discontinue cancer screenings in this economy for affordable health care for women because 3% of services are abortions paid for by totally different funding when they are needed for women's health. it's just appalling to the public, and the public has said enough. and they are frustrated with big institutions like congress. they are frustrated with politics. they are frustrated with wall street. but now they are taking things into their own hands and turning it around. i think the most amazing thing is 10,000 people spoke out and donated $3 million, six times the amount of grants, for planned parenthood in three days. >> now celinda, i think the
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republicans have tried to play the blame game so long that it is also run out. let me show you on election night, 2010, what john boehner said. >> we must remember, it's the president who sets the agenda for our government. the american people have sent an unmistakable message to him tonight and that message is, change course. >> now that's how he talked election night 2010 when the tea party and republicans had a huge win. but here we are now a little over a year later where all of the polls say it is the congress who has the lowest favorability ratings and the highest unfavorability ratings in the history of gallup. so i think that slowly the american public started understanding there's a difference between the president's intention and being -- dealing with obstructionists in the congress. >> well, and the other thing is
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that the voters feel overwhelmingly that, first of all, there's good change and bad change. and what the republicans in congress represent is bad change. and then they are trying to stop the president doing everything constructive, whether it's trying to get this economy going or cracking down on wall street or trying to get funding for education. they are trying to deflect attention with doing ridiculous things like saying, let's not fund planned parenthood. let's discontinue that funding at the height of a recession. and voters have said enough. they are rejecting not just congress but they are really rejecting the republicans in congress. their numbers have plummeted, and my favorite statistic is even a majority of poor republicans don't like the republican party anymore. >> well, celinda lake, thank you for taking your time tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. still ahead -- good for economy, bad for gop. you won't believe how they are spinning the great job numbers
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positive news today. the unemployment rate is down to
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8.3%. the president is creating jobs. and the republicans are running out of ideas and excuses. >> this recovery has been slower than it should have been. the president deserves the blame. >> the president's policies have failed. >> we could do a lot better. >> it's got to make you laugh. these republicans just can't handle the truth because the truth is, there is good news about the economy. republican congressman alan west has been reduced to conspiracy theories saying, quote, there is something suspicious about the job numbers released today. americans need truth, not these number games. folks, now republicans won't even believe the numbers. really? you can't make it up. the gop's state of denial on the economy, they just can't handle the truth. that's next. s one story. pain doesn't have much of a place in my life. i checked the schedule and it's not on it.
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stronger. the recovery is speeding up. and we've got to do everything in our power to keep it going. i want to send a clear message to congress. do not slow down the recovery that we're on. don't muck it up. keep it moving in the right direction. >> how do you react when you learn that unemployment is down to its lowest level in three years? positively, right? well, not if you are a republican. >> and i know the president didn't cause this downturn. this recession. but he didn't make it better either. he made it worse. >> what i am suggesting to you today is that we can do better. now the american people are still asking a question. where are the jobs? >> where are the jobs? the jobs are in the 23 straight months of private sector job growth. all those blue lines represent
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3.7 million jobs. that's where the jobs are. you think the president hasn't helped? well, how do you respond to ten straight quarters of economic growth? and you like the market? so here's a little something for you, willard. it's gone up almost 5,000 points under president obama. if that looks worse to you, you should get your eyes checked. how have republicans thought about this? you should think about getting glasses. joining me now, former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. now an nbc news political analyst and michael steele, msnbc analyst and former chairman of the rnc. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> good to be with you, rev. >> governor, let me start with you. are republicans in denial about the economy? >> well, sure they are. they should recognize what are facts.
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the fact is that the recovery is continuing. i think this month, job numbers were probably twice what was expected. i think there was growth expected around the 120,000 mark. private sector growth. this growth was almost double that. so that is good news no matter how you slice it. and if you are going to hold president obama responsible when the news is bad, he certainly deserves credit when the news is good. and what's particularly good in these numbers, reverend, is manufacturing gains continued. month after month of gains in manufacturing. it's the best sustained growth in manufacturing jobs that we've seen in almost a half decade. so the economy is headed in the right direction. if we got together and stopped this political gamesmanship and passed a good jobs bill with infrastructure, $60 billion, $70 billion of infrastructure spending, we'd even push these job numbers through the roof. >> mr. steele, michael, i'm going to be very gentle tonight because -- >> no, no. >> the republicans had a bad
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week. i know you need a super bowl to change the story. but let me show you the montage of willard's flips on the economy. let me just show you this. >> when he took office, the economy was in recession and he made it worse. and he made it last longer. >> he didn't create the recession, but he made it worse and longer. >> he did not cause this recession but he made it worse. >> how can you continue to say that things are worse when they really aren't worse. >> i didn't say things are worse. >> of course it's getting better. the economy always gets better after a recession. >> isn't that a hard argument to make? is that a stark enough contrast? >> have you got a better one, laura? it just happens to be the truth. >> and i know the president didn't cause this downturn to. this recession. but he didn't make it better either. he made it worse. >> michael -- >> yeah. >> it seems that mr. romney was all over the place today. the numbers speak for
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themselves. more manufacturing jobs, it's going better. have a long way to go. by no means are we satisfied but it seems like it's going in the right direction, michael, don't you think? >> i agree with you, reverend. and i think the republican conversation on this should be, first off, to congratulate those folks who got jobs last month, over the last few months. congratulate the employers who are taking the risk to get back into creating those jobs. but then to begin to lay out the point that you just touched on which is we still have a ways to go. we still have a great deal of underemployment folks, under employed folks throughout who gave up looking. now we have to figure out, how do we get them back into that search, that hunt for jobs and what that means for the economy overall. manufacturing sector is a strong sector for us. clearly, folks want to invest there. creating incentives which republicans should be arguing about to lower the barriers so companies can come back to the u.s. repatriate those profits if you
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will. >> let me ask you this, michael steele. >> yeah. >> how can willard mitt romney run against the president where he's flip flopped. one minute the president didn't do anything. next minute he's doing better. wouldn't his position be better, one if it was consistent and, two if he did what you did, congratulate people that are working, congratulate the president going the right direction, but we need more and here are my ideas. but by taking both sides of a position and acting like when genuine progress happens it's nothing, doesn't it make it even more disingenuous to voters? >> i think it's a harder argument, which was the point that laura ingraham was raising in that interview. you've set yourself in such a position that when there is good news, you are forced to, you know, do what you saw today. i think that people need to stop and republicans need to focus on what their agenda is going to be
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for full recovery, sustainable recovery into the future and not fall into the trap of trying to say, well, you know, he didn't cause the, you know, the difficulties, but not necessarily recognize when there is good news, like the governor said. you got to give props where props are due. but at the same time istill think that republicans can make the argument to the american people of why what the president has done has not been as successful as it could have been but short of that you're going to look a little bit off balance, if you will. >> now, governor, we're in a good report but, of course, we know that this is just one report. we have no idea where it's going to go. and i think the president is clear. we're in political season, getting ready for battle. he laid out the -- how he's drawing the lines, getting ready to face, probably, willard mitt romney. look at this. >> don't try and stop the foreclosure process. let it run its course and hit the bottom.
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>> it is wrong for anybody to suggest that the only option for struggling, responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. >> former republican presidential candidate mitt romney is making the case that the best thing for the big three is to let them go into bankruptcy. >> the u.s. auto industry is back. that's good to remember the fact that there were some folks willing to let this industry die. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. >> caring for the poor and those in need. >> isn't the contrast between the two on economic issues, isn't the contrast between what they are projecting to the public going to really be what this race is all about or at least it appears that that's the strategy of president obama, governor rendell? >> yeah, i think that's the strategy. and right now, it's a winning strategy. but the republicans should clearly do what chairman steele suggested that they do. they've got to come up with concrete ideas. and they can't give us the same
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cut taxes, eliminate regulations. that argument has been in place for a long time and it's pretty clear that that in and of itself doesn't work. take an idea michael had. repatriate all that money overseas and take it. let's bring it back home and let's put it to work by funding infrastructure repair, creating well-paying jobs for americans. those are the type of ideas. i think what this election is going to come down to is the economy. and it's not going to be necessarily what the unemployment or employment numbers are. it's going to be what ideas the candidates have for making it better. and that's where the republicans still have a chance. but right now, president obama is wiping the floor with him. >> michael steele, the congress, republican members of the house, are going to have to deal with extension of unemployment. they're going to have to deal with the continued issues on the statement. with these numbers and the
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continual, gradual as it may be progress of the economy, are they going to have a harder time arguing that they're not cooperating with the president because the president's methods are not working? how do they now make an argument against cooperating with the president when it seems like the president's ideas are beginning to work? >> well, i think it goes back to my point that i made before, and that is acknowledge where the president can get some credit in terms of where the economy is moving towards. but then make the case through legislation and policy that there are other things, other attributes of the president's policy, particularly health care, costs that are going to come online beginning january of 2013. taxes that will go up next year. those types of arguments, reforming the tax codes are the arguments and policy discussions that i think republicans can make very clearly and very succinctly to draw those
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distinctions between the direction the president wants to go, where the government is kind of having their hands on the till versus the private sector which is the direction republicans have argued, freeing up those opportunities for them. i thing argument can be made, and it can be made successfully. >> we'll see. governor ed rendell and michael steele. thanks so much. have a great weekend. >> you, too, al. up next -- poor, poor willard. just wait until you hear how he's trying to spin his "i'm not concerned about the poor" comment. we'll talk to erin mcpike and steve kornacki about willard's bad week. stay with us. juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8.
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[ thunder crashes ] and with the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in its class that adapts to conditions as they change, now all you have to worry about is what you accomplish when you get there. ♪ welcome back to "politics nation." mitt romney should have been enjoying his big win this week in florida. but unfortunately, his mouth got in the way. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it need respair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're doing just fine. >> romney said it was taken out of context. but now he says he regrets it. >> i misspoke.
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i wish i wouldn't have said it that way. you know when you do how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong, and i misspoke, plain and simple. >> you misspoke? no, willard, your own policies show you meant it. you back the ryan plan which would slash income programs by $2.9 trillion. your own tax plan hurts the poor and helps the wealthy. and you want to repeal the health care law. joining me now is erin mcpike from real clear politics and steve kornacki, political columnist for salon.com. he's writing about mitt's flip-flops and major gaffes today. thank you both for being here tonight. >> sure. >> steve, romney won florida this week. but did his comments about the poor overshadow everything that he should have gained from a big win in florida? >> yeah, i think in his defense
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he had a good seven hours to celebrate his victory in florida. then he opened his mouth on cnn and that's pretty much all we've been talking about since then. to me, it's sort of -- we could talk about how this might hurt him in the primary season. it might extend the primary season. i don't think in the end it's going to threaten that position at all. i think this is just part of a broader story line. we're seeing a lot of vulnerabilities. a lot of general election vulnerabilities from mitt romney that have been opened up in the primary season and are going to segue seamlessly into the general election where obama can pick up where the primary season left off. these are not republican issues. these are general election issues. >> erin, you can't remake people. and i think that what was disturbing to me, we all in public life have had our gaffes and whatever. but the pattern here, and then you come out of a big victory. you make a statement that clearly is insensitive, at best, even though they line up with
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your policies, you try to get around them. and then you go and stand in las vegas with the king of bling, the personification of being super rich and taking an endorsement less than 24 hours after you said that. this kind of thinking makes me say, it doesn't matter whether it's october or not. this is not a political strategist in any sense of having his hand on the pulse of the american people. >> right. i think the trump endorsement the next day was certainly tone deaf. generally speaking, mitt romney was kind of a man without a country on this because republicans are upset with what he said, too, because if you go further into his explanation of that comment, even when he said i misspoke, he said my campaign is focused on the middle class. well, republicans in washington are upset about that, too, because it undermines their message. when they are going after president obama for inciting class warfare as they say. they say mitt romney is doing the same thing here.
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>> well, he said that he's going for the middle class. he doesn't care about the very rich. they're all right. he doesn't care about the poor. they have a safety net. but i thought the republicans were against the poor having a safety net. so you are talking class warfare. you are saying that the safety net -- you are implying it's all right to stay there. maybe that's why republicans are responding the way they are. let me show you what some of his republicans are saying. john mccormack weekly standard called it the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said. jonah goldberg writes, what is wrong with this guy? these are republicans. we won't even get to the democrats and independents. how does he -- how do you become the nominee, which most people feel he will be, and you have this kind of open guess youfg and your statements and your
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strategy, steve. >> what erin is saying is true. he's got the republicans upset because they like to play -- they like to bash the democrats for class warfare. the reason romney got himself into this this week and why this has been an ongoing problem. he's been aware and his campaign has been aware, running as the nominee of the republican party, which no matter who the republicans nominate, the democrats will paint the republicans as the servants of the top 1%. for romney to have that roll, his campaign has been aware for some time. he's so closely associated with the top 1%. he exudes top 1 percentness. he's come up with this platform. he's broken with the republicans where he feels he can on a lot of these economic issues. gingrich wants to eliminate the capital gains tax. romney says don't cut it for the rich. he's irked them a little by not completely going along with the party line because he's aware how much it will hurt him in the fall. then when he steps in it like this, especially they don't like hearing it. >> if i can add, karl rove as we
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all know, a dean of the republican party, wrote just this week in "the wall street journal" that mitt romney has been too focused on his biography and not focused enough on policy. the romney campaign has done that because he goes around and says i spent my life in the public sector. by focusing on his biography so much, he underscores the fact he is such a wealthy guy and is a 1%er. >> you've been around willard. you've been around him on the trail. is it that he's tone deaf, that he's in a bubble, or is there some ingenious strategy that we are -- none of us will figure out until late november headed into the general election if he's the republican nominee. >> i think there's a little bit of everything you said. there was a strategy to keep him sort of boxed away for a long time and not out in the press.
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so he didn't make some of these gaffes and so the campaign could drive the message they wanted. also remember, mitt romney has said he made his own money, which is true. but he did grow up with wealth as well which set him up to then make his own money. and, you know ijust think he in a way has been in his own bubble for a long time. and he really hasn't been around poor people his whole life. he is not really used to a lot of what america is. >> now, you know, late night comedians love romney winning. republicans may be saying, oh, my god, but late night comedians say, wow, we can have this for next seven months. watch what they're doing. >> he's trying to act like a regular guy, this mitt. he was at a laundromat doing his laundry. did you see that phonied up picture? trying to get the cognac stains out of his smoking jacket. >> romney is the only guy that says you're fired more than donald trump. two ivy league tycoons can find
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common ground when one is a billionaire and one is only a multi, multimillionaire there's hope maybe this country isn't so divided after all. >> erin mcpike and steve kornacki, thanks for your time. have a great weekend. >> you, too. up next, our "here are the jobs" series. we'll talk to an automaker hiring hundreds of people right now, right here in the usa. [ male announcer ] what makes you trust a company?
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now to our ongoing series "here are the jobs." today's jobs report shows things are picking up. and it's the manufacturing sector fuelling the comeback. boosting jobs in other sectors. like the auto industry.
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with sales surging up 11% in january from last year, president obama visited the washington, d.c., auto show this week touting the comeback. detroit's big three are planning to hire 15,000 people this year. japanese automaker nissan is also hiring right here in america. nissan's looking to fill over 1200 jobs. joining me now, mark stout, nissan's vice president of human resources. thank you for coming on the show tonight. >> good to be here. >> now we saw good news in today's jobs report about manufacturing jobs. a lot of that being driven by the surge in the auto industry. nissan has jobs. first, tell me what kind of jobs. >> we've got jobs across the board. mainly in our manufacturing facilities in tennessee and mississippi. we've got production superviso supervisors. maintenance technician, our skilled labor.
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manufacturing engineers and quality engineers and mainly assembly line workers. our production technicians who build the products every day. those are the opportunities. not only there, though. we've got opportunities at our headquarters where we have marketing positions and sales positions. so we've got opportunities at nissan. >> now how many jobs do you have, and where are they? >> the jobs are across the board, tennessee. we have them in mississippi. we have those positions in farmington hills, michigan. our research and development center in michigan. opportunities there for r&d engineers, component engineers, power train engineers. mainly in tennessee, michigan, also in dallas, texas. we have our sales finance location there and opportunities in dallas, texas. so the opportunities are good at nissan these days. >> your ceo said that 2012 was going to be a record year. that's quite a statement given that the auto industry was on the brink of bankruptcy. what's fueling this growth? >> what i think, al, is nissan
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in 2011 -- 2010 -- 2011, i'm sorry, had a great year. 14.7% growth. and i think what's fueling that is the customers are back. i think the customers are ready to buy cars, buy trucks. they are coming out of the crisis. they need to get back, buy new vehicles. replace those they have in the past. i think new product introductions. the pathfinder. we launched a new versa. so we're excited about that. and i think the customer is responding. >> now you -- nissan has always made an investment in electric cars which would provide jobs a year and going forward into the future. is that right? >> that's absolutely true. in tennessee, for example, we're building a new plant to build our 100% electric nissan leaf. and that's exciting. and that's another opportunity for people in tennessee to have jobs. so it's exciting to have that and we're moving it forward. >> 1350 jobs, tennessee, mississippi, michigan. if i want to apply, how do i do it? >> nissan jobs.
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nissan.jobs. that's where you go. that's where the opportunities are. we welcome anyone to take advantage of that website and see what's there for you. >> now the cars that are made here in america are also sold here? >> yes, sir. yes, sir, they are. >> and you are glad to have these opportunities available, but you're not as glad as we are. now let me ask you something, last year was a tough year for nissan with the earthquake and tsunami in japan. how did things turn around? >> i think what we've done, al, is we've been very resolute in our strategy. it was a tough year in japan. but we came back strong. we focused on our supply chain. we were very aggressive. we had a focus on what we had to do to serve our customer and we responded. that's what it's about. nissan worked as a team globally, and we were able to achieve that. it's a step by step process when you have a disaster like that. we came back strong. we're very proud of where we are today. >> mark stout,

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